A decree published in Turkey’s official gazette and signed by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan doubled the tariffs on passenger cars to 120 percent, on alcoholic drinks to 140 percent, and on tobacco to 60 percent.
Tariffs were also doubled on goods such as cosmetics, rice and coal.
“The import duties were increased on some products, under the principle of reciprocity, in response to the US administration’s deliberate attacks on our economy,” Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay wrote in a Twitter post.
Turkey’s currency crisis spreads globally
Turkey is currently in the middle of a severe financial crisis with the collapse of its currency in recent days. The Turkish lira has lost more than 45 percent of its value since 2017.
Erdogan said on Tuesday his country would boycott all American-made electronic products, including US-made iPhones.
On Monday, the Turkish currency hit a record low of 7.24 against the US dollar in Asia Pacific trading.
But on Wednesday the lira rallied 6 percent to below 6.0 against the greenback, boosted by a banking watchdog move on swap transactions and expectations of improved Turkey-EU ties after Turkey released two Greek soldiers detained since March.
The crisis came days after US President Donald Trump announced a doubling of steel and aluminium tariffs on Turkey, as Washington pushes Ankara to release Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held on terrorism charges for nearly two years.
Analysts say the financial crisis has been a long time coming and reflects Turkey’s refusal to raise interest rates to curb double-digit inflation and cool an overheated economy. But the latest row with the US also contributed to the lira’s plunge.
Erdogan, rejecting economic fundamentals as the cause of lira weakness, said Turkey was the target of an economic war. He urged Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency, and pressed manufacturers to hold back on buying dollars.
The Turkish leader also accused the US of stabbing Turkey “in the back”.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies